- In 2011, around 260 women were diagnosed with vaginal cancer. That is around 5 every week.
- Vaginal cancer is a rare cancer in the UK, accounting for around 1% of all gynaecological cancers.
- Incidence of vaginal cancer increases with age, with the highest rates in women aged 85 years and over.
Vaginal cancer statistics
New cases of vaginal cancer, 2011, UK
Deaths from vaginal cancer, 2012, UK
Preventable cases of vaginal cancer, UK
- In 2012 around 110 women died from vaginal cancer, that is around 2 every week.
- Vaginal cancer mortality is declining. Rates have almost halved since the early 1970s.
- 63% of vaginal cancer cases each year in the UK are linked to major lifestyle and other risk factors.
- A woman’s risk of developing vaginal cancer depends on many factors, including age, genetics, and exposure to risk factors (including some potentially avoidable lifestyle factors).
- Evidence on vaginal cancer risk factors is limited, mainly because this cancer is relatively rare.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the main potentially avoidable risk factor for vaginal cancer, linked to an estimated 63% of vaginal cancer cases in the UK. Some other factors may relate to vaginal cancer risk partly because they are related to HPV.
- Exposure to diethylstilbestrol in utero causes vaginal cancer.
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and problems with the immune system may relate to higher vaginal cancer risk, but evidence is unclear.
- ‘Two-week wait’ standards are met by all countries, ‘31-day wait’ is met by all but Northern Ireland and Wales, and ’62-day wait’ is met by all but Wales, Northern Ireland and only partly by Scotland for gynaecological cancers.
The latest statistics available for vaginal cancer in the UK are; incidence 2011, mortality 2012. Reliable survival data for the UK is currently not available.
Overall, the evidence on vaginal cancer risk factors is limited, mainly because of this cancer’s relative rarity. Many studies combine vaginal and vulval cancer in order to obtain a larger number of cases for analysis.
Cancer waiting times statistics are for patients who entered the health care system within financial year 2014-15. Vaginal cancer is part of the group 'Gynaecological cancer' for cancer waiting times data. Codes vary per country but broadly include: Vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, ovary, other female genital organs, placenta and secondary cancers of ovary.
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